Selfie Gives Obama a Poor Image

selfieIt seems like only a year or two ago nobody had heard of the word “selfie.” But now it has gotten so popular the Oxford Dictionary has given it the International Word of the Year 2013. It is here to stay. Now Obama has shown up in a one, not his first, but a selfie that is giving the White House headaches and an image that is reflecting poorly on the Presidency.

Last year the Boston Red Sox won the World Series and Tuesday the Sox got to walk up the White House lawn and received their due accolades from the President. During the ceremony David Ortiz saddled up to Obama, handed him the official Obama Red Sox jersey, and whipped out his camera phone to take the kind of selfie that justifies the word’s inclusion the Oxford Dictionary.

A selfie is pointless if not shared with the world, so in moments the picture was flying around Twitter. Unfortunately for the President, though not for Mr. Ortiz, the picture was a set-up, a moment brought to the world, not just by Ortiz, but by Samsung. Turns out Ortiz had signed a sponsorship deal with the company the day before and had conspired to go get a selfie with President Obama. Mission accomplished.

Adding another head-slapping level to the story, one of Ortiz’s teammates was heard to say “cha-ching” just after the photo was taken.

Everything coming to light, Samsung admitted to the selfie-stunt a day later and the White House had to give a statement objecting to images being used for commercial purposes. Nevertheless, it was not Obama’s finest moments. It was a poor showing for the Office.

Samsung seems to have gotten good at this game. During this year’s Oscars, after Ellen DeGeneres shot her star-studded, mega-retweeted group selfie, Samsung was accused of setting the whole thing up. It was a logical conclusion considering the company had bought an estimated $20 million dollars worth of advertising during the show. The company plead innocence and even donated $3 million to charity to make sure there were no hard feelings. Samsung came out on top either way and, honestly, the phone did take a nice picture.

So Selfieing, if that has become a word, has made it to the big time. Fighter-pilots all over the world have been competing to see who could grab the best flying selfie. An astronaut took a selfie. A girl took a selfie right she was being tackled by security guards on the field of a baseball game. The Pope has even appeared in a selfie, probably ending the game of best selfie right there. And then there is Obama.

In a time of ubiquitous camera phones, what is the world supposed to think about some of its most powerful and public people appearing in selfies? Obviously, no rules of etiquette have been established. Obama is not the only world leader to appear in one; Putin was in several during the Olympics, although he doesn’t seem particularly worried how he appears on the world stage. But maybe President Obama should start to worry about how his picture looks.

During Nelson Mandela s funeral, Obama was photographed taking a selfie while sitting next to the British and Danish Prime Ministers. It was a strange moment, a few of the world’s most powerful people, surrounded by black-clad mourners, taking a picture of themselves. Obama has always been able to find moments frivolity in a deadly serious job, but the image looked crass and undignified. It gave a bad image to the Office of the President of the United States, and sometimes it is Obama’s duty to understand he is a world ambassador, and his is a serious job. Obama showed his office and himself in a poor light; the same bad place he unwittingly let Ortiz and Samsung put him in. Samsung should have respected the Office of the President, and sometimes Obama needs to do that as well.

Opinion by Andrew Elfenbein

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andyelf

Sources

Sports Illustrated

The Guardian

66 Responses to "Selfie Gives Obama a Poor Image"

  1. Modern Sage   April 7, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    This entire string of comments is ridiculous. Black/White, Democrat/Republican…who the hell cares! Neither race nor political affiliation can make up for your lack of intelligence. Oh…and about the selfie, the author was clearly reaching. Maybe daddy put him up to this.

    Reply
  2. Doc4u   April 6, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Obama is responsible for Obama’s poor “image” because he is only an “image”. He’s only an empty suit with no substance.

    Reply
  3. danyel   April 6, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Can u get real reporter and not a partisan hacks who never get sex!!#virgan

    Reply
  4. Connie   April 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    What is wrong with people! He’s damned if he is and damned if he isn’t. So he took a picture of himself “wow” so WHAT!

    Reply
  5. magsci   April 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

    I think Obama’s selfies are fine. I dont agree with the writer.

    Reply
  6. Sally Sue (@SallySueIam)   April 6, 2014 at 8:57 am

    Bushism: “Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”,

    A couple of selfies don’t even compare to what we endured from the previous president.

    Obamaism: “The strongest democracies flourish from frequent and lively debate, but they endure when people of every background and belief find a way to set aside smaller differences in service of a greater purpose.”

    Reply
  7. necole louviere   April 6, 2014 at 8:43 am

    Andrew, shut the he’ll up…….Obama is awesomely diverse…..selfies and all, you flibberdijibbitt………

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:16 am

      I agree!!!!!!!!!!

      Reply
  8. smmmm   April 6, 2014 at 8:42 am

    TeaPartiers are ignorant and gullible.

    Reply
    • James   April 6, 2014 at 10:05 am

      Since we are painting with broad brushes, progressives are godless and wicked.

      Reply
  9. wolfie   April 6, 2014 at 8:39 am

    Obama has almost caught up to Joe in how STUPID
    and AROGANT he looks and acts in public!! Our coubtry is in BIG trouble not so much because of them, but because the ignorant Uninformed “Americans” that voted Twice for these Clowns!!!!!

    Reply
    • wolfie   April 6, 2014 at 8:59 am

      As you all continue to hold your hand open an out….oh excuse me I need to go back to work to support all you Obummer Lovers

      Reply
      • wolfie   April 6, 2014 at 9:06 am

        ih give me a break Sallysue…tell me ONE thing this joke of a presidenthas done that makes us better off…Please Amuse me?????

        Reply
        • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:20 am

          Piss u off!! That good enough for me grand master!!

          Reply
        • necole louviere   April 6, 2014 at 10:16 am

          @wolverine, I mean wolfie, he smiled and brightened my day……

          Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:18 am

      And u voted twice for the loser and what does that make u ??

      Reply
  10. rob   April 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

    This faux outrage over a picture and the dignity of the Office is laughable. This coming from conservative’s who have spent almost 6 years demeaning this man,his family,and undercutting his office on the world stage. The hypocrite political right have no standing on this subject. So just zip it.

    Reply
  11. M   April 6, 2014 at 8:23 am

    To paraphrase – a rose by any other name…

    Reply
  12. Mark Lott   April 6, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Why is this an image problem for President Obama? He didn’t take the picture. This article is so irresponsible. It begs the negative comments, like ” Chicago gangster “, that was written, in the comment section. Isn’t our sitting President, allowed some normal moments in his life? I say, yes.

    Reply
  13. Tom (@coinview)   April 6, 2014 at 7:59 am

    let us chill

    Reply
  14. lovelyone   April 6, 2014 at 7:55 am

    Some of those comments are full of hate for the President and they need to go pray for their enter being. The President need to be addressed as President Obama. Haters, Haters.

    Reply
  15. Starwind Evensong   April 6, 2014 at 7:54 am

    The man could walk on water, feed all the poor with two fishes and turn water into wine… and still negativity would be heard. Yawn.

    Reply
    • bob   April 6, 2014 at 8:55 am

      You’re an idiot

      Reply
    • WTF HOW COULD U   April 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      WTF Starwind R u kidding How could u say that God can walk on water U r a big idiot

      Reply
  16. max   April 6, 2014 at 7:51 am

    I don’t think it’s a selfie if you’re not the one taking the picture of yourself… otherwise you’re just in a picture.

    Reply
  17. shavonda   April 6, 2014 at 7:49 am

    This is so Crazy how people can worry about a picture taken I see nothing wrong with it. I think people just hate to see two black men smiling. If the name was photo it wouldn’t be an issue but since the new word selfie is behind it it is a problem. People get a life or go volunteer or something

    Reply
    • OH PLEASE   April 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Please don’t play the racist card Obama is not Just black he’s 1/2 white He doesn’t talk about his white side Plus his wife said when he was voted Prez NOW I’M HAPPY TO BE CALLED AN AMERICAN WHO’S RACIST NOW

      Reply
      • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:28 am

        Funny how rascist all says say race card to justify to thereselfs “why they hate black people but claim to be Christians joke!!!!!!!

        Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:24 am

      U hit it right on the nose!!

      Reply
  18. hunnybunch   April 6, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Its a lot more to worry about then a photo.. ..a photo speaks volumes…stirs up a lot of memories and emotions…..it seems as if your having regrets wishing it was you….maybe you should take a reflection of your self. …look deep within and honestly tell yourself were you always picture perect. …. as for the our first trend setting president..I SAY…THE CORNERSTON THAT THE. BUILDER MAN REFUSE SHOULD BE THE HEAD CORNER STONE……….WE SUPORT YOU PREZ….

    Reply
    • LMAO   April 6, 2014 at 7:47 am

      Lol Please don’t use WE support u prez U DO NOT WE PREZ IS A JOKE LMAO

      Reply
  19. Bubba Nelson   April 6, 2014 at 7:24 am

    President Obama is a self-absorbed, arrogant, radical, and partisan ideologue, but his “selfies” have have little to do with that fact.

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:33 am

      And ur an uneducated out of shape carpet washer know who won in life bubba!!

      Reply
  20. Tmerc   April 6, 2014 at 7:16 am

    He is more worried about being an entertainer than the President. He doesn’t take his job seriously!

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:44 am

      Ur opionss are just dumb go play world of warcraft!!

      Reply
  21. Chris H   April 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

    This is ridiculous. Why are you people so worked up over this? It is a damn picture taken at a time of celebration for a sports team. You should get worked up about images of people taking selfies during tragedies not celebrations like this. It just shows how far down the slide you have gone to find fault with a man that defines your prejudices. find something better to complain about like the commercialism of our government thanks to the Supreme Court and their bribery by proxy.

    Reply
  22. VERY SAD   April 6, 2014 at 7:12 am

    Obama is a JOKE Him & his family don’t give two sh… about any of us They want to become famous & celebrities The US is a sad place to live in

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:34 am

      What’s sad is that u sound like a hater!!

      Reply
  23. mike. O   April 6, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Move to Russia if you dont like it here. Simple! ..

    Reply
    • So Sad   April 6, 2014 at 7:30 am

      I think The Obamas should move to Russia Then again Russia is too smart They won’t Just have everyone & anyone move there

      Reply
      • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

        Like white people grand master!!!

        Reply
  24. Peter   April 6, 2014 at 7:02 am

    Selfie or no selfie plz,leave president barack obama alone it’s just hatredfrom u guys especially ronaromero which spanish gangster u recomend ted cruz gangster?

    Reply
    • Triple Lindy   April 6, 2014 at 10:09 am

      No, we will not leave him alone. One lesson that everyone should have learned by now is; authority figures should always be questioned and challenged.

      Reply
  25. Chuck   April 6, 2014 at 6:50 am

    The only surprise here is the picture quality. Nice job Samsung!

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Lmao!!

      Reply
  26. MariDM   April 6, 2014 at 6:48 am

    Cool!!

    Reply
  27. makingitcount   April 6, 2014 at 6:44 am

    He already has a poor image now just a photo to go with it

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:05 am

      Yeah poor image to a Klan member not to the average person!!

      Reply
      • Shut up   April 7, 2014 at 5:45 pm

        Shut up u racist b..ch lmao

        Reply
  28. ronaromero   April 6, 2014 at 6:43 am

    Since Obama became president, our enemies don’t fear us, our allies don’t trust us, and our economy is floating on a giant panzi scheme. The sooner we get rid of this “Chicago Gangster”, the sooner we can begin working on a real healthcare system that doesn’t require us to pay out-of-pocket for a Government sponsored initiative.

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Rascist undertones lol ur the coward u guttless hick!! Gotta get on the Internet to talk smack bet ur daughter like black men!!

      Reply
  29. theJoe   April 6, 2014 at 6:40 am

    NO Andrew Elfenbein, it is YOU that shows as a poor image.

    Reply
  30. mont   April 6, 2014 at 6:38 am

    Some Presidents are just hip and cool and Prez. Obama just happens to be that! All the hating needs to stop and in the words of Will Smith in Men In Black, President Obama makes being President look good! #justmaditaintyou!

    Reply
  31. Joe Bloe   April 6, 2014 at 6:35 am

    you people will say or do anything to heap scorn on the man. meanwhile, the architects of the American disaster, who sent brave men and women to their deaths are bathed in love :-/

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Well said!!

      Reply
  32. adrian quinn   April 6, 2014 at 6:25 am

    when I say who? you say cares! who? cares!! killuminati!!!!

    Reply
  33. Thomas Gentile   April 6, 2014 at 6:19 am

    AS SOON AS WE GET RID OF THE FRAUDULENT FAKE PHONY LYING STINKING DICTATING DESTRUCTIVE TREASONOUS MUZZUE THAT WORD WILL ALSO GO

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:49 am

      Fraud fraud u who es forfathers were slaves masters u just mad cause a nigga is president twice!! sorry lameo!!

      Reply
  34. Triple Lindy   April 6, 2014 at 6:05 am

    You are worried about image? Really? You should be worried about his administration scandals and his disastrous foreign and domestic policies.

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Let’s see ur girl Bush started a war my guy ended it and killed bin laden what have u done lately prick talk smack!! on the Internet and u white people wonder why ur obsolite??

      Reply
      • Triple Lindy   April 6, 2014 at 5:07 pm

        So you have no logical argument to my post, only red herrings and insults. Typical response of progressives.

        Reply
  35. Zack   April 6, 2014 at 6:05 am

    *Yawn*

    Reply
  36. Melliott   April 6, 2014 at 6:02 am

    The word, “selfie” , and its meaning is incredibly stupid mar

    Reply
  37. Chalupo   April 6, 2014 at 5:56 am

    Obama is giving himself a poor image.

    Reply
    • danyel   April 6, 2014 at 9:58 am

      U think black people give a !!!!!bout image that’s why he’s president twice cause it ain’t up to u hicks anymore !!!

      Reply
  38. jjs   April 6, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Jeez, give it a rest. You are only talking to your clones, not to people who matter.

    Reply

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